Confiding over CSBs.

I was out with a friend last night. We’d grown up playing badminton together but were never close because it was “taboo” to be friends with someone from another club. Over the past year or so, we’d talk every now and then and bonded over our love for dry, witty comedy – uncommon amongst the Asians in the badminton community.

On Monday, she shot me a message asking to go for drinks. I enthusiastically agreed and we met up last night at at R&D. I wasn’t sure at that point what the nature of our meeting was, but I went open-minded. And hey, she has great taste in food and I’ve always wanted to try out this Master Chef-owned place*.

* Traditional Chinese plates were hipsterfied at this joint and re-delivered to us Chinese folks (Exhibit A: the “CSB“: BBQ pork buns (“char siu bao”). To their credit, it was delicately delicious and different from the fast-paced dishes served at traditional Chinese restaurants). Of note: we were the only Asians in the entire place, minus one of the chefs. #bamboozled? Nah.

Unsure of what she really wanted to talk about, I played around a little:

She works at a start-up, so I started our conversation talking about the big data industry. I tested the waters, but although she received it well, it wasn’t it. I moved on.

I told her a few of the stories I’d accumulated in the past year, and how they’d started with a YOLO pact, doubled with coming out. She was drawn in and fascinated, reciprocated with questions… but still, it was just me regaling her. Moving on.

I told her about the situational anxiety I had in July, packaged with stories from that month. She bit: “anxiety” was the word. She said she was looking to get help.

All ears, I let her open up and tried to be as safe a space as I could for her. She told me I was the third person outside of her family she’d told. I was slightly taken back, but also honoured. It was a mix of depression and anxiety – she’d yet to figure it out – understandable as these two are often intertwined. Because it was relatively early on, I emphasized how little it’s talked about, especially in the Asian community, pointing to how depression (and stigma) had led our mutual friend’s mother to commit suicide. I encouraged her to get help and counselling – she was waiting for her benefits to kick in.

She also identified with me in overthinking things – although I made sure to point out the danger of doing so and the importance of recognizing the line past which overthinking becomes pernicious.

We talked for holy shit three and a half hours I just did the math.

While with my friend, I texted Liv last night. I was going to send a nice “hey I’m having a queer party as a pre to Crews and you’re welcome to come”, but my friend made me shoot over a more playful text, which may have scared her away. Or she may be playing the “don’t text back right away” game. Either way, if she doesn’t show, that just frees me up for fooling around on Friday.

I’m a catch. And



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